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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Introduction to Hebrew.
My name is Alisha, and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone.
I'm Idit!
In this series, you'll learn everything you need to know to get started learning Hebrew.
That's right!
And we're here to help guide you through your journey.
In this lesson, you'll learn the reasons why you should start learning Hebrew, Idit, and how to get started.
Let's begin with the most obvious question: "Why learn a new language?"
Why learn a new language?
There are countless reasons, but perhaps the biggest one of all is that it could actually change your life! Learning a new language unlocks new pathways that are off limits to you now.
There are certain things that you simply cannot do without having the technical or cultural skills that come from learning a new language.
Like working or living in another country!
Knowing another language provides you with greater job opportunities. You have the freedom to move to another country halfway around the world and to earn a living, or even better yet, build a career from it – instead of just being stuck in one place.
Language allows you to visit or live in places that you may never even have considered going. Knowing another language simply gives you more options to choose from.
And learning a new language also helps you to be more open-minded and see the world from a new perspective.
Language and culture go hand in hand. The world is a big place, and by broadening your understanding of other cultures, it allows you to be more empathetic and understanding of the many different ways that people live their lives. With language, you're able to see and experience more, which helps you grow as a person.
Learning a new language also improves your memory.
Several studies have consistently shown that those who study another language have improved memory as opposed to those who didn't. Learning another language also keeps your brain healthy by significantly delaying the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia. This difference can be as much as 4 to 5 more years of quality life!
And those are just some of the reasons you should learn another language. The list just goes on and on.
Now you know the benefits of studying another language, but why should you learn Hebrew in particular?
Why Hebrew?
Well, have you ever heard of the Bible? That was written in Hebrew.
One of the best reasons for learning Hebrew is to gain access to ancient texts in their original language. The Old Testament of the Bible, or Tanach as it's called in Hebrew, was written in Biblical Hebrew. By learning Modern Hebrew, you can begin to understand what the original writers intended in these complex texts. These ancient words take on new meaning when you know the word in Hebrew.
Speaking of history, Modern Hebrew made history when it became a spoken language after 2000 years of only being used for prayer and in religious texts.
That's right, Hebrew is unique in this way. In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, a man called Eliezer Ben Yehuda worked hard to revive Hebrew as a spoken language. By learning Hebrew, you can be a part of this unique movement of history.
Today, Israel is a leader in the area of high-tech industry.
And this means there are many jobs and business opportunities in tech in Israel. Although most Israelis speak English, learning Hebrew will help you communicate in an effective way with Israelis. There are many times knowing the language and culture of Israel will give you an advantage when making a business deal or finding work in Israel.
Another reason to learn Hebrew is to better understand politics in the region.
There is quite a lot going on in the Middle East right now. Learning Hebrew will help you understand Israeli politics and perspective. You'll be able to read Israeli newspapers and watch Israeli news and learn about this intense region in a new way.
There are so many reasons to learn Hebrew!
Okay then, we've talked about why you should start learning a language, and why you should start learning Hebrew, but how should they get started Idit?
How to get started.
Well it's as simple as learning your first word in Hebrew and building up from there!
The good news is that you already know some Hebrew!
הללויה, חוצפה, חומוס
halelujah, chutzpa, humus
"Halelujah, insolence, humus"
These are words that have made their way into English, but the reverse is also true. Many English words have also made their way into Hebrew. In fact, for many modern technologies, like telephone or television, the word most often used in Hebrew is derived from English.
טלפון, טלוויזיה, אוטובוס
Telefon, televisiya, otobus
"Telephone, television, bus"
So there are many words you already know in Hebrew.
Let's teach you something that you might not know, but is very useful.
תודה Todah
It means, "thank you" in Hebrew.
That's a useful phrase. Can you tell us more about these characters though?
In Hebrew, you use the Hebrew alphabet. Once you learn the letters and their sounds, it's actually pretty easy to read. Most letters in Hebrew represent a consonant sound, but we also use a system of dots to represent vowels. These vowel dots are called ניקוד Nikud. When you're learning to read, you read texts with the vowel dots. As you get better, you read the letters without the dots.
Isn't that a little confusing?
No, it's actually easier than it looks! Hebrew is a systematic language, and the vowel sounds will be clear from the structure of the word.
This is "todah" with the vowel dots: תּוֹדָה and this is "todah" without the vowel dots: תודה.
You'll learn the Hebrew writing system eventually, but for now let's put up some romanization to help get you started.
The romanization will make it easier for you to learn Hebrew, until you learn to read the letters yourself.
That certainly makes things much easier to learn. Well okay then, now listen and repeat after Idit.
Now you try!
Your turn again!
Well done. Now you know how to say "thank you" in Hebrew!
We've covered a lot of things already, so why don't we wrap up the first lesson and recap what we've learned.
In this lesson, you learned that studying another language has many benefits such as providing new job and business opportunities.
The Hebrew language has an unique history, and learning Hebrew will open up a new aspect of history for you.
And to say "thank you" in Hebrew, it's...
In the next lesson, we're going to demystify Hebrew pronunciation by taking a look at the sounds of Hebrew, so be sure to watch the next video.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!